Rejection. Are you ready for it?

Five. That number might not mean anything to you, but to me it represents so much. What exactly it represents has changed for me many times. First that number represents the number of times that my work has been rejected. Which means, it is the number of times I failed. The stories I worked so hard on and spent so much time crafting and laboring over… I did all of that just to receive emails that looked like this:

“Thank you for sending your story “Enter Title Here” and we thank you for your interest in our literary magazine… Due to the large number of submissions… we read through many and we are sorry to say that we are not able to use yours at this time….We wish you luck in all your writing projects.”
Of course they are much more professional than that. That was just off the top of my head!

Recently, I sent a manuscript to a litmag I really like and when I got my rejection email….that’s right, you guessed it. I cried. Who cares if i’m an adult…it really hurt me! I knew before I sent my work out that I was going to get rejected many, MANY times. But I didn’t realize it would feel so crappy. I thought I knew what I was signing up for when I decided I wanted to become a writer, but until it actually happens, you can never really be prepared for the sting that comes with getting your work rejected. Rejection. The word looks ugly and it tastes bitter. But its something all of us writers and artists will have to learn to deal with at some point.

I stopped sending my work out to litmags. Its only temporary until I can freshen up my work and let my wounds heal. Part of that healing process is not being hard on myself. From now on, every time my work gets rejected, I write the number down where I can see it.

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Five isn’t the number of times I failed. It is simply the number of times that I tried. I wanted something and I went for it! It also represents the number of times I allowed myself to share my work with someone else. Which is something that is hard because my writing is very personal to me. And even though an editor hasn’t published my work yet, that doesn’t mean that my work sucks or that my ideas are bad. (Well, maybe that’s what it means 😉 It also means I have another chance to try again. And I will continue to try until I get to where I want to be. Getting published is something that I really desire, so my only option is to continue doing what I love.

I recently read something about getting rejected. When it happens, immediately send that manuscript to another magazine. I thought that was so great and empowering! What a way to take control of your writing career! Just because a few say “no”, doesn’t mean that’s the end. There are plenty of other publishers out there and you just have to find the right one for your story. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway!

For those of you who have not submitted your writing yet, what’s stopping you? When do you think you’ll be ready to take that step?
~Toria~

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Artists, Poets & Fiction Writers…Why you should submit your work to “Literal Latte”

Every month I pick a literary journal to focus on, in hopes of getting published in one someday. I’ve made a list of my favorites and will go back to it later when I have material that I feel the journal might like. Here is the literary journal I have my eye on for May.submissions

Literal Latte has been around since 1994 and was one of the first literary magazines to have an online presence. They accept poetry, fiction, essays, art and more. They look for great writing and mind stimulating stories. Why Literal Latte is a magazine you should consider submitting too:

  • Submissions are accepted year round
  • They accept writing in all styles and subjects
  • 98% of what they publish comes from the “slush pile”
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome

So if you have a short story or essay you would like to submit that’s up to 6,000 words, short plays or poems that are up to 4,000 words, or any art such as cover art to paintings I invite you to do so! Click here to check out the submission page for more details. Writing They also have fiction and poetry contests throughout the year. The “Short Short Contest” ends on June 30th and their “Poetry Awards Contest” ends on July 15th. Cash prizes can be won in both contests. Feel free to click the above links to check out the contest pages. So…I encourage you to polish up your prose and get to submitting! Happy Writing!

Writing Without Boundaries

Her grey hair was pulled up into a tight bun. Her clothes were nice and neat and she wore thick black glasses that sat on the tip of her skinny nose. Her presence was that of a teacher you once feared or a deceased grandparent you respected. I watched her reading my story and knew exactly what she was going to say. When she was finished, she threw it at me. The pages slapped me in the face and some fluttered around my desk. In a very loud, intimidating voice she yelled,

“This isn’t good enough! No one is going to want to read that. That doesn’t even make sense!”

I’m talking about her. My inner editor. When she isn’t yelling at me for creating work that no one is interested in, she’s busy telling me how my ideas are stupid or that I might offend someone if I write a certain thing.

Well this weekend, I decided to shut my inner editor up. This weekend all I did was write. I wrote exactly what I wanted to write and didn’t care if it was publishable or not. I just wrote because I love writing. I allowed myself to get lost in the world I was creating and enjoyed spending an entire day playing with my characters.

At the beginning of the year my personal goal was to send out a certain amount of stories each month to literary magazines, hoping that I would be published in one of them. Since I had the mindset to produce work to send out, I got lost in the process and my writing suffered because of it. Writing felt like a job instead of a hobby. I dreaded editing my stories because I wasn’t in love with them, they weren’t special to me. They were shallow pieces I quickly put together in order to make the literary magazine deadlines. So this weekend, I decided it was time I wrote for myself again.

I’ve heard that when you write, you should do it with someone in mind, for a certain audience. The audience I often picture never likes what I have to say. What I write is never good enough. On Saturday, my only audience was me. Just me and my imagination, writing whatever the heck I wanted and getting lost tor2in it. And you know what? Its the most fun I’ve had with writing in a while! I’ve been writing for fun since I was 7 years old but I’ve been writing seriously for only a couple months. Its amazing how the desire for perfection overwhelmed me and chocked my creativity so much! I went back to that 7 year old me and just wrote for the fun of it. And have decided that is how I am always going to approach my writing. Write just because its fun. Write something because you would enjoy reading it. Write without boundaries.

Want to take on a writing contest this year? Enter this one!

Hello everyone! I wanted to share with you another website that has been a blessing in my writing life. I’m sure many of you have already heard of it but I’m going to share anyway! It’s called Writers Digest and I find myself on that website every week it seems! They have great books on writing as well as tutorialswd, writing tips, webinars and contests.

Last year I entered a short story contest (didn’t win) but it was still fun to try. This summer, Writers Digest is having their 84th annual writing competition. So if you have a piece that you feel is ready to be submitted, I invite you to do so!


Here’s a breakdown of the prizes…

1 grand prize winner will receive:

  • $5,000 cash
  • An announcement on the cover of Writer’s Digest
  • An interview with the author in Writers Digest
  • One on one attention from four editors or agents
  • A paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York
  • A 30 minute platform strategy consultation
  • And a 1 year subscription to Writers Digest tutorials

In addition to the grand prize winner, there are spots for 10 winner’s total. 1st through 10th place winners will receive: $1,000-$100 cash, gift cards and discounts to the Writer’s Digest shop.

Here are the categories that will be allowed:

  • Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious)
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay
  • Magazine Feature Article
  • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Non-rhyming Poetry
  • Stage Play
  • Television/Movie Script
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction

The early bird deadline is May 4th

$15 for poetry entries and $25 for manuscript entries

The regular deadline is June 5th

$20 for poetry entries and $30 for manuscript entries

To see a list of rules and how to enter please visit this link:

http://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/annual-writing-competition#how-to-enter

Happy writing!

Toria 🙂

Why the writing website “Scribophile” needs to be in your life

I just wanted to share a website that has really been a blessing in my life. It’s called “Scribophile” and the purpose of this website is for manuscript critiques. Since I’ve been sending out my work to magazines recently, it helps to have someone read it and tell me what I could improve on. And since I haven’t been able to find a writing group that is close to where I live, this is the next best thing!scribophile-logo

The other writers on the site are really friendly and they truly do give great feedback on your writing. Here’s how it works:

  1. In order to be able to post your own manuscript, you need “karma points”. The longer the critique you give others, the more points you will earn! (and from my experience, critiquing other writers’ work helps to improve my editing skills and makes me feel like a cool English teacher 😉
  2. Next, you spend your “karma points” to post your own work. You are guaranteed to get 3 long critiques, but most writers earn more, which is great!

I’ve been active on the site for only two months but already my short story has 7 helpful critiques. And I’m proud to say that it has really helped me feel more confident about how others respond to my work before I sent it to publishers.

Now the sad part…I use the free version which lets you post up to two works at a time. But they also have a paid version where you can post as many stories as you’d like. The free version works for me because I’m cheap and I’m a slow writer so I won’t have more than two manuscripts ready for others to read anyway. So please check it out! And if you do, feel free to add me: http://www.scribophile.com/authors/toria-jean/

And that’s it! The site also has groups you can join as well as advice on poetry, writing and publishing tips.

Happy writing and happy creating!

Toria.

First Post!

indexHello everyone, I’m Tori! I created this little blog because I’m an emerging writer who hopes to become published someday. I’m in the beginning of my writing journey and thought I’d share it with anyone who is interested, as well as meet other new and experienced writers. I have fallen in love with the writing world, but so often I find myself lost and overwhelmed. This year it is my goal to learn as much as possible about both the business of writing and the craft of writing. I promise to share posts about:

  • Publishing trends
  • Writing craft
  • Great books/websites for writers,
  • Little inspirations to encourage,
  • Writing contests,
  • Places to submit your writing,
  • Platform creation

…the list goes on and on. (No wonder I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed!)…anyway, happy writing! -Toria